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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Birthday Bashes, Sizzlin' Summer, and House-buying Happenings

  We had a good time at Come See Me again this year. The Sundaes with Glen and Glenda was held indoors at Oakland Baptist due to the weather, but the kids didn't mind one bit (especially when they found their Paw Patrol friends).


 Maggie got invited to Claudia's birthday party at Superior Play Systems and got to hang out with a bunch of her classmates.

 Maggie lost her first tooth at TC's Shaved Ice with Dad, Riley, Nan and Pap. She didn't even know it had come out until Chris noticed it missing from her smile. Luckily, they managed to locate the "lost" tooth on the ground before leaving.

 Maggie and her classmates put on a phenomenal end-of-year program! We are so going to miss Mrs. Belue and all of the amazing things that she helped organize this past year for this 4K program. Fortunately, we know she has 2 great Kindergarten Immersion teachers waiting to love on her just as much.

 For Riley's birthday, I managed to make a silly face out of some breakfast ingredients and then send Riley off to school with some donut holes to give out to his classmates. Since it was a Friday, we had our usual QCP playdate (this time at Alice's house since it was also LilliJane's birthday). We ended the day going to Culver's with Grandmama and Papa so Riley could have his favorite meal-cheeseburger and fries (plus a shake for dessert).

 I felt like a queen for Mother's Day. My family spoiled me with special gifts and cards and I even got to pick our dinner destination. I had been craving crepes, so we checked out the The Original Pancake House.

 Summer kicked off with our usual watermelon photo on the porch.

Chris and I took advantage of Nan and Pap being in town and redeemed one of our Date Night activities to go uptown Charlotte for a Murder Mystery Dinner. Little did we know that Chris would end up being one of the main characters (aka suspects), Jeeves, the butler. It was really a great time!

 I can't believe how fast our little darlings are growing and changing! Looking at these pics all in a row makes me so nostalgic. This year, the birthday themes were Paw Patrol and Pokemon. Our house was filled to the brim Memorial Day weekend and we're so thankful we had good weather so we could spread out outside for some fun in the sun! Looking forward to what ages 7 and 5 have in store for us! Happy birthday my darlings!

I love that Riley wants to be a paleontologist when he grows up and Maggie wants to be an artist. Riley loves games like Pokemon and Minecraft and Maggie loves stuffed animals like Puppers and Flipazoo. 

 Chris was so sweet and on my last day teaching at Sunset Park he had flowers and a bottle of Prosecco waiting for me. He knew it had been one of my hardest years ever and it was a huge relief to be done. One week later, I got to kick back with my CSTALCK girls and head to Helen, Georgia for some rafting, wine tasting, and motorcycle club chatting.

 For Maggie's actual birthday on June 2nd, we took the kids to Krispy Kreme on a pajama raid and then went to Carowinds water park as soon as I got done with my teacher workday. We then met Grandmama and Papa at the Carolina Place mall so that Maggie could have her favorite meal-chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A. And because the kids had some birthday money from Mommaw and Poppaw, they decided to make their own stuffed animals at Build-A-Bear for the first time. I'd say, that's a pretty good day for a kid!

 This summer we tried a few new things like some Judo lessons that we received really cheap at an auction. The kids enjoyed it, but not quite enough to make it a regular thing.
 We tried to pamper Dad for Father's Day with breakfast in bed and then he and Riley took a walk in the park together. Around 12:30, we met Rodger, Melissa, Dylan, and Brooke for a ride in their boat. Grandmama and Papa were able to join us too and we had a blast tubing and swimming in the lake.  Later, for supper, we went to a fish camp near our house (Pier 51). I sure lucked out with getting this guy as dad for our two munchkins!

 One of the things we did this summer was take the canoe (that Larry and Betty gave us) out for a quick spin on Lake Wylie. My arms were extremely sore from a workout I had done the day before so unfortunately, I was a pitiful paddler.
 Towards the end of June we headed to Indiana for Camp Nan and Pap. We arrived a day early so that the kids could go to the Indianapolis Children's Museum. We were so impressed with all the different themed exhibits and how hands-on most of it was. The kids really spent a lot of time in the circus room and at the space station (though the dinosaurs, dancing, China, cars, and train stations were awesome too).

 We ended the day by meeting up with Ben and his family to see Great Grandpa Condra at his assisted living center. He seemed in good spirits, but was still rather confused. When I asked him if he liked it okay here and was being treated okay, he replied that he was but he just doesn't quite understand what happened. According to him, he came in one day to sell some knives and now he's trapped and they won't let him out. Deb said he's never sold knives a day in his life. :)

 We had a good time as usual at Almost Heaven with our first stop being at Brown County Winery to try some Chauteau Gnaw Bone, a late night dance party, Saturday pool and games day with Bocci and Euchre, chicken grilled to perfection, and just a slight bacon mishap by me that burned through the new carpet in the dining room. Whoops!

 This summer we had time to fit in museum trips to see the Carolina Raptor center, taste flavored McAlister's tea on Free Tea Day, and even tackle quite a few home projects like painting over our black coffee table and tiling the top.

 For my birthday, we got to go to a very special restaurant so that I could show the kids what real fondue is all about. Riley admitted it kinda is better than my Valentine's day attempts, but he still likes them and thinks it's one of the best meals ever. Maggie on the other hand refuses to dip any of her food in anything (not even the chocolate), but that doesn't stop her from loving it. She was a big fan of the bread and brownies (big surprise there!!).

 For 4th of July, we headed over to keep Papa company while Grandmama was off in Seattle wedding dress shopping with Kelly. We grilled out hot dogs and brats and of course had homemade peach icecream (this time with a special no egg recipe that uses vanilla pudding instead). It was delish!

 We got the pleasure of helping Mom and Connie celebrate their 60th birthdays down at Surfside beach and it was made extra special by the fact that our Seattle crowd flew in for it as well. We missed Amanda, Tripp, and Liam greatly but completely understand that they were busy packing for their new house and saving their frequent flier miles for a trip to Disney at the end of the summer.

 Each day of the week, we celebrated a different theme and gave Mom a different kind of gift. It was awesome being together with everyone. We laughed a lot playing games like Psychiatrist (with Mole and Boo Bear) and What's In Your Milk. We cried (or at least teared up a little) watching the 30-minute Power Point that Dad put together. We dined well by taking turns cooking meals different nights for each other. We soaked in the sun and sipped on sweet drinks. We celebrated Mom and what a wonderful woman she is. It was a week to remember....that's for sure!!

 We ended our beach time by heading to Wonder Works at Broadway at the Beach. This crazy upside-down building place is where Riley got to go on a 360 degree bike (he wasn't a big fan at all), Maggie fearlessly scaled a ropes course with the rest of us, Chris laid on a bed of nails, and I might have come in last in Laser Tag. And the best deal is that teachers got in for free. Yay us!

 I have neglected to mention that while we were away at the beach, we put our house on the market. Chris worked extremely hard making repairs and renovations (like putting in a new bathroom floor) the week before we left. I pitched in and helped paint the bathroom, stain the deck, and organize and stage our rooms. It was exhausting and we are so thankful that the kids had a VBS type camp to go to each day from 9 to 12 so that we could try and not only fit in work around the house, but meet with our realtor, Melissa, to try and check out new homes. We put our house on the market on Friday, July 14th and we had our first showing at 11 AM Saturday, July 15th. We had only 2 other showings while we were at the beach, but on Monday the person who saw our house left feedback to expect an offer the next day. True to their word, while Chris and I were out enjoying a date night at New South to partake in Charlotte Restaurant Week, we got the call about the offer. Before the night was over, we they had accepted our counter. We made an offer on our top house located in Shiland Hills the next day and we close on both homes on Tuesday, September 12th. This wasn't quite what I had planned for the ending to our summer, but Chris saw how hot the market was and wanted to take advantage of the low interest rates and the equity that we have in our house to go ahead and move forward with our forever home. I'm certainly excited about this new adventure even though it's a little overwhelming thinking about packing everything up in less than 36 days.

 Riley has already started his own list for how they are going to use the basement!!

 Maggie lost her second tooth this past Monday and she decided to ask for a little extra this time instead of just some glittery money. The tooth fairy obliged with her request and she was quite thrilled when she woke up at 6:30 (the gal has been sleeping until 8 every other day)!

 For Dad's birthday, we started the day at Famous Toastery for breakfast and then headed to Carowinds for a few rides. Dad went and got a massage and then we completed our celebrations by going to his traditional birthday spot-Lupie's Cafe for chili mac and cheeseburgers and our QCP friends stopped by for some drinks after the kids went to bed. I'd say that's a pretty great day for a grown-up!

 Kitty Fun with Everyone!
 Riley is "bursting" with excitement playing with his new BeyBlade Burst!
Gotta love these cuties! They wanted me to take pictures of their favorite toys to include in our blog.

 Well, Chris and I start back school in just a few days and the lazy days of sleeping in and doing whatever we want will be over. But I got to tell you...looking back over these past 4 months sure does bring me a lot of fantastic memories and happy feelings. This has definitely been a summer to remember!

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